Local Atlanta news

Taz Anderson, former Georgia Tech football player and Atlanta real estate giant, died Sept. 26 at 77 years old, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Anderson was born in Savannah on Nov. 15, 1938. He went on to play fullback at Georgia Tech, being named All-SEC in 1959.

Anderson suited up for 62 games in the National Football League, including a stint with the first Falcons team in 1966.

After a successful test run in Atlanta, Uber is expanding Real-Time ID Check, a new security feature, which uses Microsoft Cognitive Services to match photos, to cities across the U.S.
Courtesy of Uber

Uber drivers now have a new job responsibility: taking selfies.

After a successful pilot program in Atlanta, the ride-hailing company is now requiring all U.S.-based drivers to upload selfies to verify their identity.

If there's no match, their driver account gets blocked.

There have been a couple of incidents in Atlanta over the past year where customers said they were robbed or assaulted by Uber drivers or people claiming to be Uber drivers.

One in every three adult Americans has diabetes and 9 percent of the U.S. population overall is battling the disease, according to the CDC.
John Lorinc / WABE

Carnivores beware: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a health warning regarding beef products.  

According to the CDC, an E. coli outbreak has affected seven people, hospitalizing five.

Officials believe the outbreak is most likely linked to beef that came from Massachusetts-based Adams Farm Slaughterhouse.

The CDC says five of the people interviewed had eaten ground beef shortly before getting sick.

The slaughterhouse recalled some of its beef, bison and veal products over the weekend.

No deaths have been reported thus far.

Protestors moved toward the Martin Luther King National Historic Site in Atlanta during a protest on September 23, 2016.
Al Such / WABE

On Friday evening, hundreds rallied at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, before marching to Ebenezer Baptist Church and then to the Atlanta Police Department's headquarters, where they occupied space peacefully until midnight. 

Attorney Mawuli Davis and Georgia NAACP President Francys Johnson led the crowd Friday evening, marching through the streets of downtown Atlanta. 

Davis said people didn't have to look far when it came to police shootings, calling out names of those who had been killed by law enforcement in the Atlanta area.

TSA explosive agents explain why it has security procedures in place during a demonstration of hidden explosives.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Transportation Security Administration officers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport said security procedures will stay the same for travelers for the foreseeable future.

In the airport security line, taking off your shoes, jacket and belt, and emptying your pockets are practically rituals.

That's because the trend of using ordinary things, like pressure cookers as explosives, isn't going away.

TSA explosive specialist Mark Trice said the TSA changes the rules when there are valid threats they are notified of.

Kate Sweeney / WABE

The roundabout. It’s a trendy type of traffic circle that’s known for improving safety and decreasing trip times. But a new roundabout intersection in Sandy Springs is off to a rocky start.

Vernon McKinley’s daily commute takes him through the new intersection — in which two roundabouts replaced stoplights on each side of the Interstate-285 exit onto Riverside Drive. (You can see a rendering by the Georgia Department of Transportation here.)

Authorities are charging a Georgia police officer with lying about being shot by a suspect.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Friday that agents have obtained warrants charging Jackson police Officer Sherry Hall with making false statements, tampering with evidence, interference with government property and violation of oath of office.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE


Eli Dickerson faces the Fernbank Forest with Clifton Road just behind him.

“So I was thinking we could sort of follow the creek into the heart of the forest,” he says. “There’s a nice loop we can do around there.”

Dickerson is an ecologist with the Fernbank Natural History Museum. He’s kind of like the curator of this old growth forest.

Peachtree Pine homeless shelter in Atlanta
Allison Guillory / WABE

The city of Atlanta is taking steps toward using eminent domain to shut down the homeless shelter Peachtree-Pine.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has long made it clear he wants Peachtree-Pine gone. For the last year, he's floated plans to put a police and fire facility in its place.

Now, there's an ordinance before the City Council that would authorize negotiations with the property owner. That would open the door for the city to use eminent domain to take it over.

Downtown Connector
Alison Guillory / WABE

Metro Atlanta's infamous traffic will likely be a little rougher than usual this weekend.

There's a lot of construction projects planned between now and Monday morning, so drivers can expect a number of ramp and lane closures over the next 48 hours.

On Interstate-75, three southbound lanes will be shut down between Marietta Parkway and Delk Road from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

On Interstate-20, two eastbound lanes between Thornton Road and Fulton Industrial Boulevard will close Friday night at 7 p.m. and not reopen until Monday at 5 a.m.

John Bazemore / Associated Press


North Georgia, including the metro Atlanta area, has been in a drought so long, it's officially a long-term drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday escalated the state from a short-term to a long-term drought.

A long-term drought means it has officially passed the six-month mark.

Georgia's Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black also owns a cattle farm in the city of Commerce in Jackson County. Black said he's praying for rain.

Georgia House of Representatives livestream (screenshot by Elly Yu)

A member of Georgia's judicial watchdog agency defended the agency’s work in front of a state House committee Thursday, while agreeing the agency needs changes.

State lawmakers this year passed legislation that would allow voters to decide in November whether or not to overhaul the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which handles ethics complaints against judges.

Courtesy of Carafem

This year, a new abortion provider opened in Atlanta. That in itself is unusual. Abortion clinics across the U.S. and especially the South have had a difficult time keeping their doors open. This new provider is doing something else that’s new: big, hot pink advertisements aimed at getting people’s attention in a city that has seen attacks on clinics.

Gasoline drips from a nozzle at gas station Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, in Lake Oswego, Ore
Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

Gasoline is flowing around the major pipeline leak in Alabama, thanks to a bypass put in place on Wednesday.

Despite that, officials with the Alpharetta-based Colonial Pipeline say it will still take a few days for fuel supplies to return to normal levels.

That includes stations in Metro Atlanta, where the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas is now $2.51.

"That was the same as yesterday. So for the first time in about a week, we didn't see an increase," said AAA spokesman Garrett Townsend.

Center for Puppetry Arts
Sarah Hanna

There are a lot of things to do in Atlanta this weekend, so Atlanta PlanIt has chosen some of their top picks for curious Atlantans. You can start the weekend with a free dance performance at a Midtown art destination, celebrate a beloved American puppeteer, and log some miles on your bike at a popular street festival. It's all happening in Atlanta this weekend, Sept. 23 to 25.

Friday, Sept. 23

Staibdance: "brassmeadow"

Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate for August was 5 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

That's down a tenth of a point from July and six-tenths of a point from August 2015.

"We're showing a 2.7 percent job growth within the last 12 months, which in real numbers means that there are 71,000 more jobs in the metro Atlanta area today than there were at the same time last year," said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

Among the fields showing a boost in jobs: trade, transportation and warehousing, and leisure and hospitality.

Blue Bell ice cream is in the hot seat again.

The Texas-based company is recalling its packages of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream due to fears of potential listeria contamination.

Company officials say some of the dough it received from its supplier, Aspen Hills, might be tainted with the bacteria.

No related illnesses have been reported thus far.

In a tweet Blue Bell says this recall is “out of an abundance of caution.”

The recalled items include: pint-sized and half-gallon chocolate chip cookie dough and half-gallon “Cookie Two Step” products.

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

Sandy Springs residents are worried traffic’s going to get a lot worse when the Atlanta Braves move to neighboring Cobb County.

At a forum Wednesday night, many weren’t comforted by state and local plans to address the traffic.

In the Riverwood High School auditorium, Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul listed off some of things that could be done to prevent the area from becoming one big traffic jam on game days.

Among them were temporary exit ramps off the interstates. The state may also consider making a route one way only during game traffic.

The state commission that enforces rules about campaign spending has a new policy to handle conflicts of interest amongst its members.

The new Georgia state ethics commission policy says commissioners should recuse themselves from a case if they or someone in their family has a personnel or financial stake in the matter.

Rapper Michael Render, aka 'Killer Mike,' talks to reporters inside Bellwood Quarry where a big drill named in his honor will dig a five-mile tunnel to the Chattahoochee River.
Susanna Capelouto / WABE

The city of Atlanta is honoring rapper Killer Mike by naming a giant piece of machinery after him. A 400-foot, custom-built boring machine that will dig a key piece of Atlanta's water infrastructure will now be known as Driller Mike. The name was unveiled at a ceremony.

Killer Mike’s first reaction when he heard that the machine might be named in his honor, was, he said with a laugh, “Bull****.”

“I thought it was a joke,” he said. “I literally thought it was just a joke I saw on Twitter.”

As the reality dawned on him, he said he was flattered.

Al Such / WABE

Georgians have seen firsthand the results of a 330,000-gallon gasoline spill that shut down an Alabama pipeline. Prices have soared as the spill’s resulting gas shortage has left commuters and stations wanting for fuel.

While wallets may be hurting, some strategy and the help of a free app can prevent drivers’ commutes from being halted.

John Haas / WABE

The Colonial Pipeline Company estimates its line running from Houston to New Jersey provides 40 percent of the fuel for the East Coast. That’s the pipe that leaked in Alabama, sending a reported 252,000 to 336,000 gallons of gasoline close to the Cahaba river system.

The leak depleted fuel supplies throughout the Southeast, and many stations ran out. Georgia’s average gas price jumped by 20 percent, according to AAA, and other states saw increases as well.

Karen Burkenpas

Fall is the season of sweaters, apple cider, harvests and pumpkin spice everything. Whether you’re in it for the flannel, the extra hour of sleeping (or wasting time) on Nov. 6 or the perfectly-timed latte Instagram pictures, Atlanta is filled with things to do during the fall season.

Check out this list of Atlanta fall festivals and let us know your favorite thing about fall below!

Branden Camp / Associated Press

This story was updated at 4:03 p.m.  

Some pilots for Delta Air Lines will be grounded Thursday morning.

The pilots are holding an informational picket and want Delta management to end contract negotiations now.

The talks have been going for nearly 20 months.

Profit-sharing is one of the major sticking points between both sides.

John Lorinc / WABE

Crews have completed a 500-foot-long pipe section that will as a bypass around the broken gasoline pipeline that has caused havoc for commuters along the East Coast.

Officials at Alpharetta-based Colonial Pipeline Co. say gas should be flowing again Wednesday. 

The bypass around one of its leaky pipelines has been tested and approved.

The major leak that was discovered earlier this month in Alabama led to spotty outages at stations and higher prices overall. 

Shawty Lo performs at the 21st annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Monday, June 23, 2008.
AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Atlanta rapper Carlos Walker, known professionally as Shawty Lo, was killed in an early morning vehicular accident on the Westside Perimeter Wednesday.

Fulton County police say it happened near the Cascade Road ramp.  

"The driver appeared to have lost control and hit a couple of trees," said Cpl. Maureen Smith with the Fulton County Police Department. "The vehicle caught on fire. The driver, the male, the one that was deceased was ejected. And there were two female passengers that were transported to Grady."

Janaza Services of Georgia funeral director Ahmad Rashad, 66, is an Athen's native and diehard University of Georgia Bulldogs fan. The founder and CFO Abdullah Tahir Siddiqui first began work on this project in 2012.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Amidst the controversy surrounding a proposed mosque and funeral home in Newton County in recent weeks, the state’s first Muslim funeral home quietly opened in Norcross Monday.

The red brick funeral home, Janaza Services of Georgia, is easy to miss. The funeral home is in a quiet, mostly residential neighborhood off Buford Highway. Its name, Janaza, comes from the Arabic word for funeral.

Alison Guillory / WABE

For decades, Gwinnett County has had opportunities to join MARTA and build rail service, but voters have turned down every proposal so far.

Rev. Harriett Bradley missed her bus transfer to get from Norcross to Lawrenceville so she ended up taking Uber to get to the Sierra Club transit forum earlier this month. She told the crowd that because buses quit running in the evening, she would have to take Uber home. 

David Goldman / Associated Press

Colonial Pipeline officials say they've now finished building a bypass segment around the rupture that broke earlier this month.

Hydrostatic tests are underway on the 500-foot segment to make sure it's strong enough.

If it is, a restart could take place tomorrow.

It will still take a few days for the fuel supply to return to normal, and that means prices will still remain higher than usual.

"We know that gas prices generally go down at a slower pace than going up. We don't think that this situation will be any different," said AAA spokesman Garrett Townsend.

Store employee Jackie Steele straightens out the remaining boxes of Eggo frozen waffles on the shelf, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009, at Harvey's Supermarket in Tallahassee, Fla.
AP Photo/Phil Coale

Kellogg’s has announced a voluntarily recall of roughly 10,000 cases of its Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat waffles.

Officials with the company say the product might be contaminated with listeria.

This is the only Eggo product that is linked to this recall. No related illnesses have been reported thus far.

Georgia is among the 25 states that are affected by this recall, including Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Consumers are advised to return these products to the place of purchase for a full refund.